Sunday, December 8, 2013

Dec 6th:    Yep, up at 0500 with the annoying rooster noise from the smart phone.  NJ insists we change it.  I counter with “it wakes us up”.  We'll see.  Outside temp is 46, inside it's a balmy 65 degrees.  Coffee pots put on the burner, as both of us were low.  Got out of here at 0620, when it was light enough to see.  Sunrise was around 0640.  We had wind (20-28 knots apparent) on our nose the whole way to our left turn into San Diego Bay.  Started out pretty rough, but once we got into something deeper than 40 feet, which ended up taking about an hour, the swells and seas calmed a bit.  We pretty much rolly-pollied for the first 4 hours as some swells were coming in from the northwest and others from the southwest.  At least they were taking turns, so it was relatively bearable.  Seas flattened out the further south we got, but we still had the 20-25 knot winds on the nose.   We saw a few dolphins along the way, but otherwise, didn't see even another boat until we were withing about 10 miles of San Diego.  Arrived at Slip #23 at the Police/Public Dock on the west tip of Shelter Island.  We have reservations here for three nights so we can get our bearings, find more permanent (and cheaper) mooring to get the things done to the boat that need doing.  Time to relax for awhile....

Sunrise as we're leaving Oceanside

Point out for the kelp (we didn't)

Our greeting party as we enter San Diego Bay

Passing a submarine at Ballast Point.   Old haunt for Hal.

Getting near to west end of Shelter Island

San Diego landscape behind Coronado Naval Air Station

The Police boats just before we dock

Couldn't believe we ran into Marjorie again.  Canada & Richmond before this.

NJ cleaning up the brightwork to make us look good in port.

Dec 7th:    We awoke and realized we were actualy in San Diego now.  It was just one day shy of a full month since we left our slip in Richmond.  We also realized there was a number of things we want to accomplish before we head further south, like purchase and install a water maker, replace our house batteries, haul out for survey, new thru hull(s), repair worm board and perhaps add some more bottom paint.  Can't do much immediately because everything is closed for the weekend.  Brother Vern picked us up and we drove around the area a bit, stopping for a sandwich and beer.  The overcast, wind and rain showers dampened our outing quite a bit, so we headed back to Shakedown, said goodbye to Vern and Kylie and watched movies the rest of the afternoon and evening.

Dec 8th:    Not much happening this day.  Woke up to 54 degree weather, the rain event is over, clouds are giving way to sunshine.  Pulled the tarps up and folded them for storage.  Emptied the four jerry cans of diesel into port tank.  Spent a few hours cleaning the boat deck with pressure washer.  Sure accumulates a lot of dirt out on the water and in the harbors.  Today was 49ers vs. Seahawks.  Signed up for internet access, but couldn't get enough bandwidth to watch the game.  Bummer!  NJ cooking preparing meatloaf and green bean casserole.  Spent the entire afternoon trying to get info on the game via computer....what a waste of time.  Good thing we were getting updates via text message from son Steven in Maryland!  During the baking process this evening, had to change propane tanks to finish up in the galley.  I would be remiss if I didn't correct a “huge” error, (according to NJ) from a previous blog....Monday night we watched the Seahawks clobber the Saints, NOT the 49ers beat the Rams.... ok, I stand absolved of my mental flip-flop...or whatever...Something else I failed to include previously was that one needs to really pay attention to charts & guides with regard to the kelp fields at the tip of Point Loma.  You really do need to go all the way to Buoy SD.  We didn't and took “the shortcut”, almost getting us in deep trouble.  Between the long tenacles of the kelp, there were at least 300 crab pot floats to navigate through.  Going from 5.5 knots to 3.2 in a matter of about 3 seconds is pretty sobering.  However, with a bit of speed on the prop, we managed to successfully get out of the morass.  Be warned, should you travel this way.....

We will be here in San Diego Bay (somewhere) for probably at least a month.  Have a few things to do with the boat as noted above, and who knows what else will bite us in the ....So, the Blog will probably be dormant for periods of time.  Hope you understand.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Still in Oceanside

Dec 2:    Woke up to quiet morning.  We were scheduled to depart today, but TV weather reports for the area (Oceanside to San Diego) were looking bleak.  Did some checking online and, yes indeed, there was nasty stuff heading our way (small craft and dangerous surf warnings issued).  Made decision to stay until the Wx calms down.  Decided to put sail covers on since we will be here awhile longer.  We hiked up to the Harbor Office and paid for four more nights, then took a walk to the Oceanside Pier.  Took pics of surfers, pelicans, and other interesting local landmarks (like “You Are Here” map).  After a nice visit at the pier, hiked back over to “our” grocery store and bought a few items we were running out of.  Got back to the boat in plenty of time for NJ to conjure up her pressure cooker version of Chicken Catch-a-Torry and once again watch the great sunset.  Brother Vern, along with niece Kylie drove over from Poway with goodies and a package from our mail forwarding service.  We wandered over to the Jolly Roger Restaurant & Lounge (about 25 yards off our stern) to watch Monday Night Football (49ers vs. Rams).  Had some good food & spirits at happy hour prices.  Vern & Kylie headed back to Poway late in the 4th quarter.  We actually left too, knowing the certain outcome of the game (Niners way ahead).  Back onboard it was already time for sleep.   (Note:  if anyone would like a full size version of any of the photos, please let us know by posting Comment) :)

The Welcome To Our Harbor sign

Our model showing off the berth

Blimp showed up to take our photographs (not)

Approaching Oceanside Pier

Mural along the way to the Pier

Arriving at the Pier

NJ phoning a friend in Florida

The sign is correct

We're not in Kansas anymore

Entrance to tunnel under railroad tracks

Dec 3:    Nothing but clouds this morning and a bit of a breeze.  Since the weather was moving in, we decided to stay in and do as little as possible.  Well, NJ started some laundry, we started a movie, NJ started baking Oma rolls, and the original plan of doing nothing somehow went up in a cloud of flour dust.  But it was a relaxing day, and during the early evening hours, we heard on the news that something like 14 drops of rain had fallen in the entirety of San Diego County.  It was a BIG deal here, apparently.  We watched a few more movies, had some of the Chicken comfort food, and decided to call it a night.

Watched 49ers game upstairs

Dec 4:   We had some fairly feisty wind during the night, but when one could see a massive amount of stars at 0345, got a fairly good feeling the forecasted rain event was over, and the noisly flapping tarp over the aft end wasn't needed.  Put on some sweats, released the lines holding the tarp, rolled it up, went back to bed.  Got up at 0735, started coffee, turned on phone.  Got a voicemail from Paul Flyr, so called back.  He was complaining about the cold and the frozen Port Angeles harbor.  NJ and I expressed our condolences, as the outside temp here, at that particular moment, was 63 degrees.... we took a different route to "our" grocery store and saw a few different things.  Came back via the beach and walked in the sand for about 1/2 mile.  Cookies baking, movie playing, laundry drying.  We'll be relaxing the rest of this day and looking for an even calmer tomorrow.  Now planning to depart Oceanside early Friday morning and arrive at our reserved slip (3 days) in San Diego at the Harbor Police transient docks, Shelter Island......

View from I-5 bridge 

Another view of Pier 

Copping a rest on the porch

More of the harbor from Eateries Warf

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Ventura - Marina Del Ray - Dana Point - Oceanside

Nov 23rd:    Spent the day walking around Ventura Harbor looking for our friends, the Eells on s/v Valhalla.  Went the wrong way, finally got them on the phone to find out we had to go around the other way.  Turns out we were virtually across the waterway between two marinas.  Visit was short, but sweet, as they had to head out at zero-dark-four, and we at zero-dark-six...they for Santa Catalina Island, we to Marina Del Ray.  Was great to visit and exchange tall tales.  Remainder of day was occupied with vacuuming, cooking tomato sauce for spaghetti dinner, baking of banana bread, and the always dreaded laundry in our very own onboard laundromat.  Finished the day by topping off the water tanks, had a bit of spaghetti and hit the sack.  Didn't bring camera, so got no pictures of our "reunion".

(Speaking of pictures, believe if you click them, they will enlarge and allow you to view them all at once.... :)

Shakedown on end tie at Ventura Isle Marina

Ventura Harbor at sunset

Nov 24th:    Alarm went off at 0500, and crew was up and raring to go.  Everything put where it needed to be put, and then casting off from our dock at 0555.  We got out of the harbor entrance and rigged the boat for open seas (this means the fenders/bumpers had to be pulled up and stowed away, the dock step had to be pulled up and tied to the rail, the gap where the dock step was had to be secured with lifelines, and the docklines had to be properly stowed away).  By now it is time for the official sunrise at 0638.  We put up mizzen and stays'l again at 0720 in anticipation that there actually might be the forecasted 10-15 knot wind this morning.  Half hour later, we got a bonus.  Winds picked up quickly to 25-28 knots.  NOT in the forecast.  Had a great ride, then got in behind some coastal “mountains” which blocked the easterly winds to almost nothing.  We spent the rest of the day motoring in 1-3 knot wind/flat calm seas the remaining 40 miles to Marina Del Ray.  But it was nice and sunny with pretty much unlimited visibility.  We tied up at 1542, at Chace Park warf H300D.  Paid our $50 and hooked up to shore power post.  Plan on relaxing, having dinner, get some sleep and be out of here at 0600.

Marina Del Ray entrance

Paddling out of Marina Del Ray

Marina Del Ray
  Nov 25th:    We were up at 0500 and shoved off from Chace Park Dock and were underway at 0600.  Calm and flat. With the 0635 sunrise raised the staysail as we had a light breeze on the port beam.  The long awaited for sighting of dolphins happened at 0709, although just a few came near and then disappeared.  Hoisted mizzen at 0720, main at 0747 and the jib at 0827.  It has been quite a while since all four sails were flying.  Unfortunately, we couldn't shut down the engine because what appeared to be promising winds failed to appear and we had just enough to fill the sails but no more.  Around 1300 the dolphins were back and they brought friends!  For almost an hour, they were frolicking around the boat and “body-surfing” our bow wake.  We arrived Dana Point just minutes before sundown.  Pulled into the West Basin anchorage, dropped anchor, dragged, dropped again, dragged, droped a third time and it held just well enough to call it a night after 45 minutes of performing this exercise.  Engine off at 1730.  Dinner, a movie, and bed.

Nov 26th:    Early this morning,  pumped up our rigid inflatable boat (RIB) with our new battery-powered air pump.  Sure beats thefoot pump.  Launched the RIB, filled it with four empty jerry cans and motored to the other (east) end of the harbor to the fuel dock.  Filled them with diesel, emptied the trash, scoped out the area.  Found out there was only one small dock that one could park a dinghy, and the time limit was two hours!  I asked one of the Harbor Patrol (Orange County Sherriff's dept) if that was only option.  He confirmed, and told me they check quite regularly, so if I wanted to take my chances, it could potentially cost $200 to get it out of impound.  But at least the anchorage was free and we could stay for five nights.   Headed back to Shakedown as a breeze was picking up.  Got there just in time to notice that the anchor was once again, dragging.  Decided to raise anchor and drive over to the East anchorage, where there was much less wind, and, as it turns out, better holding bottom.  Got ready to go visit dear friends, from Whidbey Island days, Ted and Angie Shiermeyer at their place in Laguna Niguel (about four miles by taxi).  We were originally going for lunch, but having to move the boat and re-anchoring, put us into the early dinner hour.  Had a great visit, albeit short because of the aforementioned two-hour limit on dinghy parking, we got back just as sun was setting.  We read and watched a bit of tacky TV offerings and hit the sack.

Nov 27th:    Decided to put up the Bimini this morning in preparation for tomorrow's forecasted rain showers.  Emptied the diesel jugs into port fuel tank.  Had to do some rearranging in the bow compartment to make sleeping accomodations for the impending visit by Hal's brother Vern and his friend Jan.  Ted and Angie came to the harbor today to visit with us.  After a nice lunch in the outdoor seating at the Wind & Sea restaurant, we took a ride in the RIB around the harbor and then dropped them off to catch their taxi ride back.  As sun set, Vern & Jan arrived, we loaded their gear in the RIB and got them safely to Shakedown.  Had a wonderful evening. 

Nov 28th:    Turkey Day.  Had a bit of breakfast this morning, everyone having slept well during a calm night.  We had reservations for a “traditional turkey dinner” at the Wind & Sea for 1245.  Met Ted & Angie there, as well as their daughter, Charlotte.  The seven of us had a great time eating (too much) and getting to know one another better.  We were sorry to have to say so long to Ted, Angie and Charlotte, but tentative plans for a “reunion” of sorts were made for San Diego next month.  It didn't rain today.
Filled up with Turkey and framing Shakedown in the distance

Angie and Nancy

Ted and Angie enjoying Thanksgiving dinner

Hal, Nancy, Jan, and Vern
 Nov 29th:    Had a bit of breakfast this morning before Vern & Jan had to pack up.  They departed Shakedown at 1100, and upon coming back to Shakedown, NJ and I simultaneously got an “empty nest” feeling.  It was so comfortable having them onboard.  We decided to take a last look around, so drove the RIB back to the dinghy dock and walked the perimeter harbor over to the West anchorage and back.  Stopped into Turks and had a couple of beers, then back to Shakedown.  Removed everything from the RIB and hauled it back aboard.  Had leftovers for dinner (what else do you do the day after Thanksgiving?) and made ready to head out in the morning bound for Oceanside.

Nov 30th:    Underway at 0815.  No wind.  Motoring with no sails up.  It didn't take long after clearing Dana Point Harbor for the dolphins, and many many more of their friends to greet Shakedown.  At 0850, at least 50 of them showed up en masse to play around the boat for about 10 minutes before moving on.  Was quite exciting to see that much sea life at once.  Rest of the trip was uneventful, and we arrived in Oceanside about 1245 and tied up to the “Jolly Roger” dock at 1302.  Walked to the Harbor Office to pay for a two-night stay (since the rates were the most reasonable so far this trip).  We didn't want to push on to San Diego with a Sunday arrival, and the extra day will be wisely used to find a place to watch the 49ers play tomorrow.  We got some good information, map and directions from Mike at the Harbor Office, so we continued on and finally found the small grocery store he suggested.  We purchased some food stuffs and walked back to the harbor.  Stopped into a “sports bar” called Tony's, had a beer and asked if they would be showing the 49ers game tomorrow.  The response was affirmative, so that's our plan.  We should arrive at 11 a.m. In order to get a seat.  Game time is 1330.  We got back to Shakedown just after sunset.  Had dinner, watched a bit of TV and went to bed.

Dec 1st:    Awoke at 0530 thinking about getting the Blog updated, so got up at 0615, had a couple cups of coffee, sat down and started in on it.  We showered before nine and waited for brother Vern to show up from Poway to join us watching football over at Tony's Sports Bar and Grill.  We walked the mile or so and got seats.  Then when a few folks left their seats at the bar, we grabbed them for better view and seat backs.  Got lunch and liquid refreshments.  Watched the 49ers beat the Rams.  Walked back to Shakedown while the sun was dropping below the western horizon.  Vern got into his car and drove back to Poway, we went below, turned on lights, heat, and sat down.  We'll get up early and head to Mission Bay for an overnight in the anchorage there.

NJ's new favorite place to watch for dolphins

Point Vincente

Pumping that expensive fuel

Flat seas and sun, but light winds

Body surfer

The real Dana Point

Entering Dana Point

Entering anchorage area just before dark

Resting at anchor, East anchorage Dana Point

Angie and Nancy at lunch at Wind & Sea restaurant

Ted enjoying lunch at Wind & Sea

Enjoying Turkey Dinner with Shakedown in background

View of Dana Pt Harbor from our anchorage

Wondering what we are looking at

Sea Lion showed up at bait dock...wonder why?

Three Stooges come to mind but they were great

Coming into Oceanside